The New State

By George Sterling

From "Ode on the Opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition"

O dark and cruel State
Whose towers are altars unto self alone,—
  Whose streets with tears are wet,
And half thy councils given unto hate!
Shall Time not hurl thy temples stone from stone,
  And o'er the ruin set
A fairer city than the years have known?
Out of thy darkness do we find us dreams,
  And on the future gleams
The vision of thy ramparts built anew.
Mammon and War sit now a double throne,
Yet what we dream, a wiser Age shall do.

Be ye lift up, O everlasting gates
Of that fair city men shall build for man!
  O fairer Day that waits,
The splendor of whose dawn we shall not see,
When selfish bonds of family and clan
Melt in the higher love that yet shall be!
O State without a master or a slave,
  Whose law of light we crave
Ere morning widen on a world set free!

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